Insurers await hull, clean-up claims from burning tanker


Multiple marine hull and protection and indemnity insurers face claims from the collision of a tanker carrying Iranian oil and a cargo ship about 160 miles off China’s east coast on Sunday, which caused major damage and sent oil into the sea.

According to news reports, the tanker Sanchi was still ablaze and at risk of exploding on Tuesday. The body of one of the tanker’s crew had been found but 31 remained missing, reports said.

The tanker was carrying about 1 million barrels of oil, which is worth about $60 million. The hull of the tanker has an insured value of $32 million, sources say.

Bermuda-based Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Ltd. is the P&I insurer the Sanchi. P&I insurance typically covers marine liability exposures, including pollution.

“The Sanchi is entered with (Steamship Mutual) for P&I risks,” a spokesman said by email. “We hope that the salvors will now be able to conduct a search and rescue of the crew who are our main concern at the moment.”

The Sanchi is owned by Bright Denizcilik ve Gemi İşletmeciliği A.Ş. of Istanbul, Turkey, which could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Oslo, Norway-based marine insurer Assuranceforeningen Skuld is the lead hull insurer for the tanker and the P&I insurer for the freighter involved in the collision, the CF Crystal.

“Skuld can confirm its involvement as lead hull insurer of NITC tanker Sanchi and the P&I insurer for CF Crystal. We are working very closely with the relevant authorities to establish the facts surrounding the collision and in the meantime would like extend our deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this tragic incident,” the insurer said in a statement.

A spokesman added Tuesday that Skuld has a 15% share of the tanker’s hull line slip and is claims lead on the coverage, 70% of which is covered in the Lloyd’s of London through 11 different syndicates.